DeLay rule update: legs

Those who aren’t political junkies are starting to notice the smell.

Yes, this one is moving. Not only does Howie Kurtz report it with full anti-DeLay spin (if prosecutors are really going wild with unjustified indictments, he asks, shouldn’t the Congress be investigating an out-of-control criminal justice system rather than just protecting its own?), but the Manchester Union Leader is denouncing it in terms it usually reserves for Democrats:

…abolishing [the rule] now gives the appearance that House Republicans are insincere when they profess a commitment to high ethical standards. Too bad that appearance is not deceiving.

More to the point, the story is starting to gain the attention of people who don’t obsess about politics.

I spent much of today with a Federal law enforcement officer. Just in the course of general conversation, he brought the matter up. He didn’t know the details, and in fact thought it was something about changing Senate procedures. But he knew that the Republicans on the Hill had just done something slimy. That’s progress.

[And it may explain why so few Republican Congressfolk are eager to say how they voted.]

Have the late-night comics been on this yet?

The DeLay two-step

Make them pay for it.

In 1993, when Dan Rostenkowsi was indicted, the Republicans in the House were looking for a way of pinning his strictly private financial scandal on the other Democrats in the House. Someone had a clever idea: make it a rule of the House Republican Conference that anyone in a leadership position who was indicted would have to step down. So the rule was duly passed.

Like many of the ideas behind the Gingrich Revolution (remember term limits?), that turns out to be sauce for the goose only. With Tom DeLay facing indictment in the fundraising scandal surrounding the Texamander, the House Republican Conference is expected to rescind the rule tomorrow. (Hat tips: The Stakeholder, via Kos.)

What should we do about it? Why, we should make them pay.

The contemporary Republican Party has demonstrated a complete lack of scruple and no sense of limits in either taking power or using power. (The current “purge” — their word, not mine — of the Directorate of Operations at the CIA to rid it of those not personally loyal to GWB is just the latest example.)

If they keep playing football and we keep playing croquet, guess who’s going to keep winning?

Pelosi and Reid, and the rest of us, need to take a page from the Republican playbook of 1993-2000. No surrender, no compromise, no bipartisanship, no civility, no reaching out to Republican officeholders (as opposed to detachable Republican voters): nothing but scorched earth from here to victory.

No, it won’t be pretty. But continuing to be ruled by these thugs is worse.